Behind the scenes with Budweiser's Clydesdales - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Big E 2013

Behind the scenes with Budweiser's Clydesdales

One of the big hits at the Big E is the chance for people to get up close and personal with the Budweiser Clydesdales.

"Everybody thinks it's the coolest job ever so it's pretty neat it's really an honor and a priveledge," says Hans Jager, a clydesdale driver.

The iconic horses have been an American symbol for decades. The ones you'll see at the Big E are the exact ones used in Budweiser's famous 9-11 tribute commercial. But the glitz of trotting the horses down the parade route is only a small part of what it takes to handle the clydesdales.

"It takes about an hour to harness them. It takes five hours to get ready for each show. By the time we clean the stalls, groom the horses wash their legs clean the harness, clean the wagon... it takes about five hours per show," says Burton Westbrook, a clydesdale handler.

And driving the hitch is no walk in the park either. Each clydesdale weighs about two tons and stands about six feet long. Meaning to harness all that power the driver has got to have a tight grip.

"Obviously it takes a lot of power to hold them back the lines alone weigh about forty pounds so when you're trying to hold back 16,000 pounds of horse flesh so some day's it's very challenging," says Jager.

The crew is on the road 320 days a year. They truck the horses in semis going from event to event. The travel maybe long, but Jager says he loves being at the reins of the clydesdales.

"Sometimes it really brings goosebumps to you people really appreciate it, what you do and they really enjoy it young and old whatever walk of life," says Jager.

The Budweiser clydesdales are housed in a stable between parades. The public can visit them every day until 9:00pm. Admission to see the horses is free.

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